2 times 2 is 4, but what is the answer if both 2 and 2 are negative numbers? Here we will determine if the answer to negative 2 times negative 2 is positive 4 or negative 4.
There are many different ways to explain and determine if the answer to negative 2 times negative 2 is -4 or +4 using mathematical terms such as additive inverse and mathematical laws like the Distribute Law.
We will take a different approach - process of elimination: We will simply test if -4 is the correct answer using basic algebra.
We will test if -4 is correct by setting up the equation negative 2 times negative 2 equals negative 4, and then simplifying the equation to see if it is true.
(-2) (-2) = (-4)
Divide both sides of the equation by (-2) :
The numerator and denominator on the left side both have (-2) which even each other out and can be removed:
The numerator and denominator on the right side both have a minus sign (-) which even each other out and can be removed:
A numerator of 4 and denominator of 2 on the right side is the same as 4 divided by 2 which is 2. Now we end up with this untrue equation:
(-2) = (2)
-2 is NOT equal to 2, thus we have proven that negative 2 times negative 2 is not equal to -4. The answer must therefore be 4:
-2 x -2 = 4
The above applies to all math problems where you multiply two negative numbers. Multiplying two negative numbers such as negative 2 times negative 2 will always have a positive answer.
Negative Times Negative Calculator
Here you can multiply another two negative numbers together.
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Here is the next problem on our list that we have explained and calculated.